Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Chronicle on the plight of Illinois public universities

The Chronicle has a story today on how Illinois public universities are managing as the state continues to fail to fund them.

After the break, the relevant stuff for SIU. (The full story linked to above is restricted to subscribers, but anyone with SIUC credentials can get access via Morris. I'm not sure, though, if my link will work if you aren't signed in or reading on campus.)

I highlight one sentence from Dunn in the story: he expects some degree programs to be shut down. SIUC faculty just received an email with a draft of the report by the dreaded "Joint Taskforce on Program Prioritization". I'll read and respond to that soon.

Southern Illinois officials are reaching into the "same bag of tricks" they’ve used over the past year to keep the system’s two main campuses financially viable, said Randy J. Dunn, the system’s president. But "we can’t keep relying on these tricks much longer," he said.

The Carbondale campus, which is a research institution, has scaled back its summer academic offerings. In the fall, Mr. Dunn said, both universities will have to eliminate sections of some courses. The system has left vacant nearly 200 positions — many of them on the faculty.

Officials are also reviewing Southern Illinois’s degree programs, he said, and he expects some to be shuttered by next year. Enrollment will probably be down this fall on both campuses, Mr. Dunn said. He’s hearing from many students and parents that they’re concerned about specific programs — and potentially the institutions themselves — not being there.

 "We try to send a message as strongly as we can that SIU isn’t going anywhere," he said. "But sometimes that’s a tough sell."

Unless the legislature and Governor Rauner manage to strike a budget compromise soon, Mr. Dunn said, another stopgap bill is "probably what it’s going to take to keep us all in business."
Recall re the last quote from Dunn that in his last message to campus he noted that SIUC could get through the election with some sort of stopgap funding for higher ed. In other words, if we don't get some stopgap funding soon, there will be major consequences on campus.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I will review and post comments as quickly as I can. Comments that are substantive and not vicious will be posted promptly, including critical ones. "Substantive" here means that your comment needs to be more than a simple expression of approval or disapproval. "Vicious" refers to personal attacks, vile rhetoric, and anything else I end up deeming too nasty to post.